U.S. stock indexes edged mostly lower in late-afternoon trading Friday, placing the market on track to extend losses from a day earlier. Banks and technology companies fell, offsetting gains by industrial and health care stocks. Energy companies also declined as crude oil prices closed lower. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index slipped 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,713 as of 3:28 p.m. ET. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 4 points to 24,718. The Nasdaq composite fell 24 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,358. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,627. Rising stocks and falling stocks were about evenly split on the New York Stock Exchange.
EASING VOLATILITY: Despite the market’s bumpy ride this week, it’s been mostly trading in a narrow range. The S&P 500, the market’s benchmark index, is on track to notch its 10th day in a row without a gain or drop of 1 percent or more.
That’s the longest stretch going back to January 26, when the market broke four and a half months of calm with a 1.2 percent gain, which also marked a record high. Just one week later, the market entered an extended bout of volatility that included a rapid plunge of 10 percent in early February. That was the first “correction” the market had seen in two years.
Since then, the market has returned to quieter trading, even as U.S. companies report fatter profits.
“Now it feels like investors are paralyzed trying to choose between a pretty solid economic picture and great earnings growth, and rising rates and ongoing geopolitical drama day to day,” said Craig Birk, executive vice president of portfolio management at Personal Capital.
CHOPPY WEEK: After a strong start to the month, markets have been choppy this week as investors turned the page on the first-quarter earnings reporting season and weighed the implications of rising interest rates and the ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The countries, which have threatened tariffs on each other, were holding discussions aimed at averting a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
SOUP’S OFF: Campbell Soup plunged 11.6 percent to $34.66 after the packaged foods company lowered its profit forecast and said that its CEO, Denise Morrison, was retiring effectively immediately. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 and was having its worst single-day drop since 1999.
NOT A GOOD LOOK: Nordstrom tumbled 10.3 percent to $45.69 after the upscale department store chain said sales at established stores, a key metric for retailers, showed meager gains in the first quarter.
FALLING SHORT: Applied Materials dropped 7.3 percent to $50.01 after the maker of chipmaking equipment forecast revenue for the current quarter that was below Wall Street’s estimates.
ON THE RISE: Shares in industrials stocks rose. Deere & Co. led all stocks in the S&P 500, climbing 5.6 percent to $155.05 after the agricultural and construction equipment maker forecast 35 percent growth in equipment sales for its third quarter.
PAYING UP: PayPal Holdings added 2.2 percent to $80.90 on news that the company is buying Stockholm-based payment processing startup iZettle for $2.2 billion with the aim of expanding into Europe and Latin America.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 21 cents to settle at $71.28 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oil, lost 79 cents to $78.51 a barrel in London.
The slide in oil prices was a drag on energy stocks. Range Resources slid lost 3.4 percent to $15.14.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 3.06 percent from 3.12 percent late Thursday. The pullback in bond yields, which affect interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, weighed on bank stocks. Citigroup fell 2.2 percent to $70.
METALS: Gold gained $1.90 to $1,291.30 an ounce. Silver slipped 3 cents to $16.46 an ounce. Copper dropped 3 cents to $3.06 a pound.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.68 yen from 110.75 yen on Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.1773 from $1.1799.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe fell. Germany’s DAX gave up 0.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 slid 0.1 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.1 percent. Asian stock markets finished mostly higher. Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.4 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.5 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.3 percent.
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